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Subject > Armed Forces

Date > 1500 > 1500-1509

Canada's First Warriors

Type: Interactive ResourceDocument

A slide show presentation of Native American dress from the 16th to mid-18th century.

Site: National Defence

Portuguese archer and, at left, a crossbowman, early 16th century

Type: Image

Archers and crossbowmen were commonly found on ships and in the early overseas settlements of the first half of the 16th century. Such soldiers were most likely part of the early Portuguese forays to Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. (Museu de Arte Antiguo, Lisbon)

Site: National Defence

A Commemorative History of Aboriginal People in the Canadian Military

Type: Document

This history on our Aboriginal Peoples and their contribution to Canada’s rich military heritage is the latest in a series of books prepared by the Director of History and Heritage commemorating especial military experience. Authors : P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ph.D., R. Scott Sheffield, Ph.D., John Moses, Maxime Gohier

Site: National Defence

Portuguese ships, early 16th century

Type: Image

Such ships would have carried the Portuguese who explored what is now Canada’s east coast. (Museu de Arte Antiguo, Lisbon)

Site: National Defence

From Footmen To Soldiers

Type: Document

Professional soldiers were a recent development in the Europe of 1500. They fought for pay, not for loot or feudal obligation, and could have firearms as weapons.

Site: National Defence

Voyages Of Discovery

Type: Document

Many European expeditions were sent to explore North America during the sixteenth century. The explorers were armed, and their ocean-going ships were a revolutionary technology.

Site: National Defence

Soldiers Of The Canadian Expeditions

Type: Document

The soldiers accompanying early expeditions worked for private businesses, not for the state. Many were veterans of European wars, or gentlemen seeking land or gold.

Site: National Defence

Sixteenth-century Amerindian warriors from central Canada

Type: Image

Three types of costumes common to all Amerindian tribes are shown. Reconstruction by David Rickman. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

The Enlistment Of Soldiers

Type: Document

Soldiers were organized into companies of about 50. Their leader, the company captain, was responsible for recruiting, training and disciplining his men.

Site: National Defence

Judicial torture at a 16th century Inquisition tribunal

Type: Image

Europeans were also acquainted with the savagery of torture. It was routinely used by judicial authorities to obtain confessions from suspects. Such practices were occasionally resorted to by tribunals in New France. Public executions of the guilty in Europe could also be horrendous torture spectacles. Religious Inquisition tribunals practiced it mercilessly on supposed heretics in the name of Christianity as shown in this print.

Site: National Defence